* I told subscribers about this earlier in the week…
Now the [minimum wage] bill is set to go to the House, where Speaker Michael Madigan told his caucus he will call and vote for it.
Illinois’ minimum wage of $8.25 has stood since 2010, even as Chicago and Cook County have raised theirs. Now the bill to raise the statewide wage moves to the House, where Democrats led by Speaker Michael Madigan could change the proposal before it lands on Pritzker’s desk. But top Democrats including the new governor said Thursday that they do not believe changes are needed. […]
“I anticipate the speaker will support the bill,” Madigan spokesman Steve Brown said after the Senate vote.
This sure looks like a go.
* WSIL TV…
“I have a lot of people in small towns in my district that are worried that jobs are going to go to Missouri,” [Sen. Paul Schimpf, R-Waterloo] said.
The minimum wage in Missouri is currently higher than it is in Illinois, $8.60 vs. $8.25 per hour. If this current bill becomes law, Illinois’ minimum wage will rise to $9.25 an hour on January 1st of next year, but Missouri’s will rise to $9.35. Illinois, however, will surpass Missouri over the next 12 months, when this state’s minimum wage will rise by $1.75 an hour and Missouri’s will only go up by 75 cents.
* Capitol News Illinois…
Although no Republicans voted for the bill – and several spoke against it on the floor, citing concerns about businesses leaving the state, unforeseen costs on schools and universities and the potential for job loss for low-wage employees – Pritzker said conservative voices helped shape the legislation.
“I talked personally with several senators to make sure their ideas were incorporated. I talked with many of the interest groups that represent businesses, and Republican interests, to incorporate those into the bill,” Pritzker said during a news conference in his office at which no elected Republicans were present.
He did talk to a lot of legislators and business groups, but this is basically the same bill that passed in 2017, except for I think the gratuities credit, which was kept in place at the behest of the restaurants. They are essentially the fig leaf providing political cover here. Not saying that’s a bad or good thing, just saying what it is.
* Public Radio…
Republicans like state Sen. Dan McConchie from Hawthorn Woods argued there should be smaller increases downstate, where the cost of living is lower.
“A one size fits all approach is exactly the wrong solution for an aggressive measure of this sort,” McConchie said.
Sponsoring Sen. Kimberly Lightford, a Democrat from Maywood, said working class people across the state are struggling to exceed the poverty level.
“How do you tell your constituents that—that they don’t deserve to be paid fair wages because of the part of the state they live in?” she asked the Republican senators.
That’s basically the heart of the disagreement over regionalizing the wage.
Illinois State University President Larry Dietz said Thursday that increasing the minimum wage from $8.25 to $9.25 an hour — the first-phase increase in the legislation — “would cost us about $600,000.”
“The cost would be $7.5 million once the concept is fully implemented,” he said, referring to the $15 rate that would take effect in 2025.
* There was also talk yesterday during debate about the cost to Southern Illinois University Carbondale. So, I reached out to the campus spokesperson for the annual breakdown…
Hi Rich. The annual cost grows as the rate increases, culminating in $6.96 million annually in 2025. Increases are tied to the dates in the proposed legislation. Rounded, it looks like this:
Jan 1. 2020: $664,000
July 1, 2020: $585,000 (cumulative $1.25 million)
Jan 1: 2021: $817,000 ($2.07 million)
Jan 1, 2022: $912,000 ($2.98 million)
Jan. 1, 2023: $1.05 million ($4.03 million)
Jan. 1, 2024: $1.31 million ($5.35 million)
Jan. 1, 2025: $1.61 million ($6.96 million)
Before the Senate vote, Pritzker met with Senate Democrats for nearly 30 minutes to solidify support for the bill. Lightford said Democrats were given “reassurance from the governor that we will continue to work on budget concerns.”
Those concerns stem from schools, human services organizations and others who rely on state financing, but also must comply with the higher minimum wage.
“My administration will propose a balanced budget taking into account the effect of the new minimum wage,” Pritzker said. “Human services and social service organizations are going to have the resources they need to pay workers more.”
Where he gets that money is anyone’s guess.